19 January 2022

Boris Johnson stunned by defection of Tory MP to Labour just before facing Prime Minister’s questions

19 January 2022

Boris Johnson has been hit by the defection of a Red Wall MP to Labour as he battles to save his leadership.

Bury South MP Christian Wakeford said the country needs a government that “upholds the highest standards of integrity and probity” but told Mr Johnson “both you and the Conservative Party as a whole have shown themselves incapable of offering the leadership and government this country deserves”.

His move was announced just minutes before a session of Prime Minister’s Questions, with the timing calculated to cause maximum damage to Mr Johnson.

Mr Wakeford won Bury South, which had elected a Labour MP at every election since 1997, in 2019.

I have concluded that the policies of the Conservative government that you lead are doing nothing to help the people of my constituency and indeed are only making the struggles they face on a daily basis worse

He announced his decision in the Bury Times and sent a letter to Mr Johnson explaining why he had lost patience with his leadership.

Mr Wakeford said: “I care passionately about the people of Bury South and I have concluded that the policies of the Conservative government that you lead are doing nothing to help the people of my constituency and indeed are only making the struggles they face on a daily basis worse.

“Britain needs a government focused on tackling the cost of living crisis and providing a path out of the pandemic that protects living standards and defends the security of all.

“It needs a government that upholds the highest standards of integrity and probity in public life and sadly both you and the Conservative Party as a whole have shown themselves incapable of offering the leadership and government this country deserves.”

Mr Wakeford had been one of seven Tory MPs to publicly call for Mr Johnson to quit.

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